What anticipated changes in the legal industry are you most excited about during your career?
Yogi Berra once (apocryphally) said that predictions are hard – especially about the future. With that caveat, I’m hopeful that the entry of millennial lawyers into the profession will catalyze new thinking about models for delivering legal services to underserved clients – particularly small- and medium-sized businesses and clients involved in disputes where the presence or absence of legal representation can make a substantial difference to the outcome.
Have you ever worked on a case that changed your perspective in some way?
In law school, I worked on a lawsuit on behalf of Vietnam veterans who were discharged from the military under other-than-honorable conditions because of problems related to undiagnosed PTSD. Ultimately, the Secretary of Defense issued new guidance that required the Defense Department to give much stronger consideration to these veterans’ claims for discharge upgrades, and today that requirement is a part of federal law (10 U.S.C. § 1553(d)). The experience emphasized for me the lifelong impact PTSD can have on a veteran – it’s a wound of war that never fully heals.
What advice would you give to those considering a career in law?
Take on a job or internship in a law-related field before you make the decision to go to law school. If you enjoy the experience, great! It’s a noble profession: intellectually stimulating, with lots of opportunities to serve others. (If not, you’ll have learned more about yourself and saved yourself a considerable commitment of time and resources.)
What’s your favorite way to spend time outside of the office?
I love to cook – I’m slowly working my way through a cookbook focusing on Spanish food. I’m also a voracious reader of essays and a fairly inept, yet enthusiastic, golfer.
What’s your favorite lunch spot?
Real Food Eatery
Name one thing on your bucket list.
I already achieved it – being a contestant on JEOPARDY!